Our office, as well as the The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Dental Association (ADA), and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) all recommend establishing a "Dental Home" for your child by one year of age. Children who have a dental home are more likely to receive appropriate preventive and routine oral health care.
You can make the first visit to the dentist enjoyable and positive. If old enough, your child should be informed of the visit and told that the dentist and their staff will explain all procedures and answer any questions. The less to-do concerning the visit, the better.
It is best if you refrain from using words around your child that might cause unnecessary fear, such as "needle", "shot", "pull", "drill" or "hurt". The office makes a practice of using words that convey the same message, but are pleasant and non-frightening to the child.
The Dental Home is intended to provide a place other than the Emergency Room for parents.
Infants - Infants and children under the age of three are generally treated on the parent's lap in our conference area. During the first visit Dr. Kotlow will conduct an oral exam to check for any oral problems. A member of our hygiene staff will then discuss preventive dental care, tooth brushing and answer any questions the parent may have.
Older Children - Older children will be examined in our preventive dental operatory. There they will have any needed X-rays, their teeth cleaned and fluoride placed. Our hygiene staff will review oral care techniques, and Dr. Kotlow will complete an examination of the oral structures. While the children are being examined, parents will view a videotape about dental care in our office.